Researchers from the University of Sussex have been studying the psychological health of people who have suffered heart attacks. They studied 74 people who had had a heart attack in the last 12 weeks. They found that 16% met the clinical criteria for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and another 18% reported moderate-severe symptoms. Those people with PTSD symptoms were more likely to have poorer psychological health overall and an impaired social life. The patients' own perceptions of how severe their heart attack had been and the threat to their life were less powerful predictors of whether people went on to develop PTSD than the use of denial and avoidance as coping strategies.
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